At first taste, it seems like a sweet deal: Switzerland's Nestle is reportedly offering about $11.5 billion, or $82 a share, for America's Hershey Foods
But all is not well in Chocolate World. Hershey Trust Co. owns 77% of the company's voting stock, and it decided back in March to put Hershey up for sale. The Wall Street Journal says the trust is now facing stiff pressure from local officials to avoid unloading the storied candy maker. In fact, Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher is pushing for a temporary restraining order that would block it from selling.
But the Journal also says some of the trustees felt pressure earlier from Fisher to sell Hershey. According to a Journal source, "He started the fire so he could be the one to put it out." At any rate, the story indicates some board members are having second thoughts about the whole NutRageous thing.
Meanwhile, back across the Atlantic, the possible deal is leaving a bitter taste in Swiss investors' mouths. Nestle may be offering too much for Hershey's sweet Kisses, and its shares lagged the market at midday. And with Hershey trading at $76.60 -- well below the reported $82-a-share offer -- it's clear American investors may also be viewing this deal as a Dud.